Smaug Inc announces the first space agency
The engineering company Smaug Inc. announced in March 1955 that it was setting up a new division with which it intends to take ownership of everything outside of the Earth's atmosphere. Smaug Inc. set up the new division with a healthy dollop of cash, an increased expected budget for 1957 and for its first year of operation a significant discount on purchases of equipment from the rest of the Smaug Inc.'s vast engineering experience1. The new division's motto is "The Big Shiny Thing is ours!".
South Africa determined not to cede space to Smaug Inc.
In June 1955 following a major TV documentary on the risks of space travel (concerning both the risks of conceding space to big corporations, but also highlighting the risks to humans over weightless conditions2), the South African government decided that it must set up its own space agency to prevent Smaug Inc.'s domination of the skies. South African Republic Space Agency (SARSA) has been tasked with conquering space as soon as possible and has been initially granted a cash balance of the same size as that of Smaug Inc. However the South African finance ministry is reported to have already asked the agency to make savings and has imposed a small budget reduction for 1957. The Suitably Arrogant Rabid South Africaaners are expected to make a big impact (preferably into water) in the coming years.
Scandinavians also in the race
During the first few days of September, the Scandinavians also set up a new space agency, the Greenland Outer Space (Satellite and Interstellar) Programme (GOSsiP). After rapid construction of their launch facility at Julianehåb, ideally suited for launching satellites into polar orbits, the discovery that the facility had been built on a moving glacier has consternation and dismay (and the requirement for expensive remedial repairs3). In recognition of the setback this has caused to GOSsiP, the Scandinavian governments have agreed to a significant increase in the expected 1957 budget for GOSsiP should allow the agency to fulfil its motto: "To Infinity and beyond!"
Space Habitation Agency set ups Direct Operations division
The Space Habitation Agency announced in September that it too was setting up a new division with which to conquer space. With its previous experience in designing space missions (if not launching them), the agency has already recognised the need for ground based mission control and is expected to have an excellent safety record4. The "Theoretical Operations" division is reported to be relieved that, with luck, the new division will divert media attention from their own operations and has diverted a small amount of its 1957 budget to the new SHADO.
Australia joins the race
Following the re-election of the incumbent Australian government on the 10th of December, the Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, announced that, as per his election manifesto, Australia would be setting up space agency to join the race to conquer space. The Australian Space Agency (ASA) has been tasked by the Prime Minister to immediately send a multi-manned mission into space5. As a result of the Prime Minister's enthusiasm for the space agency, ASA will have a massively increased 1957 budget.
Last updated: February 9, 2023 at 11:14 am
- All equipment purchases during 1956 made by Smaug Inc are half price. This does not apply to the cost of starting a program, only to additional hardware ↩
- SARSA cannot recruit any astronauts during 1956 ↩
- No launches permitted from this GOSsiP facility until $15,000,000 of repairs have been made ↩
- The first ever failed safety check made by SHADO will be rerolled. ↩
- ASA's first mission must be manned in a multi-person capsule. If the mission fails ASA's budget will be halved. ASA may reject this order, but if it does so, ASA's 1957 budget will be $48,000,000 instead of $90,000,000 ↩